It happened on a Saturday morning. I was driving to Glendale to pick up my mother-in-law's birds. Back then, I was married and could get talked into things as ridiculous as transporting cockatiels from place to place in order to give them a change of scenery. The night before, I went to see Lez Zeppelin at The Bluebird. When you're watching four lesbians cover Dazed and Confused, you gotta drink.
So, I drank and then I drank some more. At the end of the night, I got that urge that only a drunken Jew in Denver could have at three in the morning -- I wanted a beef, egg, and chicharon burrito from Chubby's. It's the perfect combination of pig fat, grizzle, cholesterol, and jalapeno peppers. And it tastes oh so good. After finishing my gastronomic nightmare, I went to bed.
The next day, in my car for the bird pick-up, I noticed a familiar grumbling in my belly. In the past, this grumbling had signaled that I had to release some gas. Subsequently, I did what I had always done in that situation -- I tightened my stomach muscles, relaxed my sphincter, and flatulated. Unfortunately, this was no normal flatulence. It was one with a partner, a very determined, wet, smelly partner.
As defined by Urban Dictionary, a shart is "a small, unintended defecation that occurs when one passes gas (blend of "shit" and "fart")". It's also known as "Foop" or "Gambling and Losing" or "Gas Followed by Mass" or "Shitting Yourself."
Obviously, I wasn't prepared for this surprise. I knew I had to fix it before I picked up the birds. I couldn't face my mother-in-law literally smelling like shit. Plus, I didn't want to stain my car's interior. So, I pulled over at the first McDonald's I saw.
Anonymously zipping past the masses waiting for their McGriddles and Egg McMuffins, I ran to the bathroom. Unfortunately, when I got there, the one stall with a door was occupied by a man teaching his son how to poop (which my father probably should have done). I banged on the door and the father told me to wait. When I frantically told him I couldn't, the son started crying. The father yelled at me. Soon, the manager appeared. At risk of spending more time soaking in my own feces, I jetted before the cops came.
Back in the car, it was like a sewage treatment plant. I made my way to a Taco Bell. With the food they sell there, they were undoubtedly prepared for this kind of incident. I went into the handicapped stall so I would have enough space get the job done right. I first removed my shorts, set my underwear aside, and began wiping like the wind (front to back, of course). For fear of somebody seeing me bottomless at Taco Bell, I used the water in the toilet for a makeshift sponge bath. Then, I was somewhat clean. Unfortunately, my shorts and underwear were not.
I considered stretching my shirt into a very short dress. I considered making a toga-type sarong out of toilet paper. I considered bribing a Taco Bell staffer for her pants. Ultimately, though, I decided to wear my shorts sans underwear. I did love those boxers though, so I rolled them up, shit side in, and walked out. Nothing is worse than walking out of Taco Bell, facing those nice chalupa lovers with your shit covered underwear in your hands.
Eventually, I made it to my mother-in-law's. She had no idea of the hell that I had been through and I wasn't about to blow her image of me as a man who can control his bowels. So, I quietly got the birds and headed back to my house.
After showering vigorously with seven kinds of soap, all remnants of my fooping fiasco had been washed away. I put on new shorts and underwear, although I probably should have put on diapers or at least Depends. Quickly, I realized that whatever caused the initial shart wasn't quite finished with me yet. For the rest of the day, which seemed to be packed with wild and wonderful activities, I had anal leakage, also known as fecal incontinence.
I went to see my buddy's band, Rocky Mountain Jewgrass (yes, it's a Jewish Bluegrass band), play at an outdoor festival. In 100 degree weather, my balloon knot kept dripping. To the sounds of country versions of Shalom Aleichem and Dayenu, I ran to and from the porta-potty in order to wipe. All the wiping and the heat baking my wet anus had some horrible ramifications.
I got taint chafe.
As defined by Wikipedia, the term taint refers to "the perineum, the region of the human body between the testicles or vulva and the anus." Well, my perineum was swollen, burning, raw, and irritated. I wanted to go home, shower again, and put this day of soft stool sickness behind me.
Unfortunately, my wife had other plans for me. She had an engagement party AND a birthday party that we HAD to attend. As time passed, my taint was so chafed that it felt like I had gotten a battery acid enema. At the engagement party, I walked around like a duck, trying to keep my legs, ass cheeks, and balls from rubbing anywhere near my anal region. At the birthday party, I couldn't even stand. I just sat there trying to drink the pain away.
As I grew drunker, I began to tell everybody about my plight. It turned out that nearly every person I spoke to, both male and female, had been in my situation at one point or another in their life. They just never spoke about it. It was as if there were some heavily guarded "Secret of the Shart".
Throughout the night, I heard fantastic tales of wet sensations, soaked skirts, and sock drips. I heard from a fund raiser who once sharted on a hike. I heard from a crime reporter who once sharted during sex. I heard from a chiropractor who once sharted on a patient. I learned that married people are more likely to discuss sharting than single people. I learned that pregnant woman uncontrollably shart without even knowing it. I learned that the older you are, the more likely you are to shart.
It suddenly occurred to me -- sharting is what unites us as humans.
We could be Republicans or Democrats or Muslims or Jews or Gays or Straights. We all have been in the horrible situation where our gastrointestinal functions got the most of us. Why do we allow ourselves to be divided by beliefs or backgrounds or orientations when we should be united by embarrassment? I say let's come together as one, let's come together as one and shit our pants!
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